To be completely honest, I cannot really recall why I had decided to take on website building.

It came about in September '18. I was stuck in high school and was bored out of my mind. I wanted something to work on aside from schoolwork... Actual work to fulfill myself, and not to fulfill others. I was drawn to the basic abilities that building a website can bring. I don't think I ever shown any interested in web-building, except for maybe a blogspot page I made earlier that year. I don't really think I had ever seen a lot of "simple websites" at the time (besides browsing people's old blogs), so, a lot of my first tries at making my website kind-of stemmed from my own narrow personal preferences.

I never started the website with any agenda or true intent. It was just something to do in the offtime when I finished my schoolwork. In fact, it was such a last-minute thing to preoccupy myself with, that I originally found purpose in the website as a place to drop my social links. I don't think those linking webapps existed at the time, so I thought to myself, "Given how many accounts I have floating around the web, I'd probably be better to use it as some aggregate landing page." To be honest, I was never a terribly active internet user at the time, aside from my incessant use of Discord.

A lot of the chronology that I would've wrote in here is already said in "What Exactly Do I Want?". To make it short and sweet, I (quite literally) grew up on the internet for the last half of my childhood, then promptly became disillusioned with it as I got older. I retreated into Neocities as a way to at least make myself known in a way that doesn't restrict myself, and doesn't make myself associated with the new typical malaise that social media and even knit-tight internet communities inhibit.

From that point on, I've continued to predominantly associate myself online, and spend more time with Neocities. Not exactly as an identity, but moreso as a comfort zone. The internet can be a great oppurtunity to make yourself known to the whole world, so I still want to take advantage of that. I just kind-of wanted to be, y'know, quiet about it. Not loud, not demeaning, not imposing, just expressive in the most quiet way.

I'm not going to go on a typical Yesterweb manifesto tangent on web this, web that. I do agree with a lot of what people say, but at what point does it sound like we're all singing to the choir? I digress, but lets be honest, I think we all know why we are here. To get away from it all! We sure as hell cannot fuck off to a little cabin in the woods, so instead, we make a tiny website in a tiny collective of other tiny websites, not largely known by the general web (though I would argue that Neocities has been picking up in popularity, and in public knowledge as of fairly recent)... and I embrace it!

I do have an intuition that a lot of the Neocities-proud users are trying to replace their former very active internet activity with Neocities, and I'm not really in the same boat, being someone who's cut a lot of ties on the internet (but still keeping a few), and has immensely become more fond with forming interpersonal connections. What's the term they use... Netizen? Yeah, I don't personally feel like I fall into that boat anymore. In a way, this website has come back to being something on the backburner... A last minute place to work on just so people I know and people online can stop by. Believe it or not, a huge amount of my current inspiration comes from old band (predominantly independent band) websites, predominantly from the era of '95 to '05 (this is TOTALLY not biased because I like music from this era). When I browse them, it's less of a place for "being online" with the band, and more of just, "Hey. We exist. Look at our press photos. Check out the band member's bios. If you want to see us, here's our current tour dates. Email the band members if you want, but don't expect an instant response. Stop by again soon!"

There's something weird about those websites I really, really, love. It's not like they were intentionally trying to come off in a way like this... It was mostly spurred by the limitations and necessities that the internet facilitated. The internet, a lot like TV, used to be just a box at home, or at the library, and not something that you took with you. It was just a place to exist on, and not live on. Chatrooms like those on IRC, AIM, YahooIM, etc. did exist, but, again, it was usually only accessible on the box at home. That's how I want to go about my existence on Neocities. I just want to exist and not live on it. I don't really want to come with a loud agenda, a manifesto, or a loud-and-proud collective belief. I just want to bring my existence, set it up, make it look nice, and occasionally check on it. In a sense, I want to take on the most direct definition of independent website. Not to be confused with IndieWeb, Another organization that although I share sentiment with, I don't really assoicate myself with. Along with this, I've started to refrain with being wholly associated with Neocities as a collective. I'd rather associate with the medium in which the ecosystem thrives in.

I know this was kind of a rant, but I don't malicious intention with me in this, and I do apologize if it came off this way. I really love Neocities! It's certainly been the most I've ever fulfilled out of every internet community I've joined. It's also been the only community of people on the internet that can take themselves seriously, and I truly mean it. But... in every internet community, no matter the medium, nor demographic, nor even how much you like it, there's always room to point out something that bothers you.

Anyhow, that's been my two cents on Neocities. Feel free to email me if you have any comments. My guestbook is fine, too.

November 29, 2022